SANTA MONICA, CA - Speaking in Tongues is highly recommended and a must see. The Open Fist Theatre Company returns with a fantastic production at a new venue and not a moment too soon. In a co-production with the Powerhouse Theatre Company, Speaking in Tongues provides a great night of theater entertainment.


Written by Andrew Bovell, Speaking in Tongues is a three act play that weaves nine intricate characters into a ball of dramatic emotions. Among these individuals are two married couples who unknowingly switch partners for one night, a man who realizes the love of his life has purposely forgotten him, a woman who disappears on an unfamiliar road after leaving her husband an unsettling phone message, a well educated man with no friends, a young girl afraid of committing yet not afraid of hurting others, and a young married man who is seen arriving home covered in blood. These people connected by chance make ill fated choices, and in some cases live to regret them.


The script is unconventional as it does not follow the patterns of a normal play. The events are first seen with two scenes simultaneously. By the second act, the characters are thrown back to the past, with events coinciding in present time. This unique type of storytelling will definitely keep the audience intrigued with the action and where the story is heading. The only downside is the few loose ends left untied at the conclusion of the play. One can argue the decisions of the playwright. Either way, as long as it is being discussed, the playwright has done his job.


Under the direction of Stephen Spinella, the actors are in top form. Patrick Tuttle and Anna Khaja are believable as a married couple in trouble. Tuttle rises to the occasion with a heartfelt monologue near the end of Act one. Aaron MacPherson is likeable as the passive-aggressive Pete. Hepburn Jamieson hits the right notes as Valerie, a therapist on the edge. Brian George gives a strong performance as John, a man at the crossroads. Rounding out the talented cast are Irina Bjorkland, Amelia Borella, Andrew Lukich, and Dylan Maddalena.


What’s guaranteed is excellent acting and a complex script that challenges the audience’s way of thinking. Go see Speaking in Tongues.   - Adrian Rennie


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